Creswell’s defense keeps playoff hopes alive


Creswell football traveled to Jefferson for a game that was originally supposed to be played earlier in the season, but Jefferson’s run-in with COVID issues caused the game to be rescheduled for Thursday. The Bulldogs were looking to snap a three-game skid and get back on the winning side against the Jefferson Lions.

The conditions during the game worsened as the rain intensified and the field turned quickly into a mud pit. By the end of the evening, the white Creswell jerseys had completely turned to a deep brown. 

The Bulldogs leaned on their rushing attack and their defense to propel them over Jefferson in a low-scoring 18-12 victory keeping Creswell’s hunt for the playoffs alive. 

“It was raining, it was cold. Both teams had a heck of a time with the ball just because of the conditions of the field. To start the game, the result was okay, and then as the game moved on, it got muddier and sloppier and it was tough to move the ball,” said Creswell Head Coach Scott Worsham “We basically had to go to a lot of run game and I had to count on our quarterback Connor to carry a lot of the load for us. We use him a lot to run right, to run left, up the middle, and we just kind of went to the running game as much as we could. The passing was just going to be tough even though we did throw a touchdown pass to win it was hard for us to do for sure.”

A vintage performance by the Creswell defense kept the game low scoring and the Bulldogs came out ready, only allowing Jefferson to move the ball two yards on their opening drive. The first possession for the Creswell offense was a similar scene and was forced to punt on a fourth and nine. 

The Jefferson punt returner mishandled the ball, putting the ball on the ground, and Creswell was able to fall on it, getting the ball back at the Jefferson 35-yard-line. On the next play, Connor Hanson would run for a gain of 15 yards followed by a penalty against the Jefferson defense moving the ball all the way down to the Jefferson 10-yard-line. 

Jefferson was able to force a turnover and got the ball back deep in their own territory of the field. The Bulldog defense had two tackles for loss and forced a safety for the first score of the night (2-0 Creswell). On the next Creswell possession, the handoff exchange was dropped and recovered by the Jefferson defense at the Creswell 40-yard-line. 

But the ensuing play the snap would go over the head of the Jefferson quarterback and be recovered by the Creswell defense for one of their five fumble recoveries on the night. 

“It was crazy, you know, it was one of those things like they would get the ball then a play or two later we would get the ball back,” said Worsham. “The ball was hard to keep ahold of. Both sides had a hard time it was so slick.”

Creswell was able to move the ball down to the Jefferson 10-yard-line but Hanson’s pass would be intercepted by the Lions. On the next play, the Jefferson running back broke away from Bulldog defensive players for a 90-yard score for the Lions (7-2 Jefferson). As time was running low Hanson was able to break off a big run of his own for a 49-yard score to end the first quarter and give the Bulldogs back the lead (10-6 Creswell). 

Creswell’s defense would give up one more long run to the Jefferson running back again in the middle of the second quarter as he scampered for a 75-yard score that would be the last score of the first half (12-10 Jefferson). 

In the second half, both teams’ defense rendered the opposing offense scoreless until the first play of the fourth quarter. On 4th and 11, Hanson foundnd fellow team captain Logan Gordon for the score and a go-ahead touchdown (18-12 Creswell). 

“Our defense was doing such a great job in that second half and the way the field was they just weren’t going to be able to move the ball. It was just a matter of us scoring that one last touchdown to go ahead,” said Worsham

The defense continued to be solid and hold Jefferson the rest of the game, not allowing them to score and closing out a big 18-12 victory for Creswell. 

“It was important to get this win versus Jefferson,” said Worsham. “The team knows a win against Monroe puts us right in the playoffs. So we’re all gearing up for a big week basically the playoffs start now so we got to get it done.” 

With the playoffs still very much in reach for Creswell, the Bulldogs will end their regular season against Monroe on Friday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. with the winner advancing to the playoffs. 

Stat leaders

Offense 

Connor Hanson 8/14, 52 yards, 1 TD

Connor Hanson 32 carries, 152 yards, 1 TD

Jack Nguyen 9 carries, 15 yards

Logan Gordon 1 catch, 18 yards 1 TD

Defense

Juan Beltran 7 tackles, 1 FR

Connor Hanson 7 tackles, 4 TFL

Team 5 FR, 3 INT

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